WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan released the following statement after President Trump issued a coronavirus emergency declaration:
“New Hampshire public health officials are working around-the-clock to keep our communities safe. I am glad that President Trump heeded calls to match their urgency and declare a coronavirus emergency, which can unlock significant new funding and provide states with important additional flexibility. We must also build on the swift bipartisan work that led to last week’s passage of an emergency funding bill by coming together to pass additional legislation to support all those impacted by the outbreak. That legislation should include providing free coronavirus testing to everyone whose doctor orders it, paid leave for impacted workers, strengthened Unemployment Insurance, and food security assistance, among other priorities.
“All Americans have an important role to play in helping mitigate this outbreak and save lives. We all need to follow typical flu prevention protocol – most importantly, frequent handwashing – and also practice what public health experts call social distancing, meaning avoiding close contact and large gatherings whenever possible. Even if you may think that you are low-risk, if you inadvertently pass the virus along to others who are high-risk you might put them in danger and contribute to overwhelming the health care system. In New Hampshire, we pull together and help one another get through challenging times, and I know that we can come together to combat this public health challenge.”
This week, Senator Hassan joined a group of senators urging the president to immediately consider any disaster declaration requests so states can utilize the $42.6 billion currently available in the Disaster Relief Fund in their efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and protect public health.
Senator Hassan has been sounding the alarm on the need for additional federal funding and access to public information in preparation for the spread of the coronavirus. This week, Shaheen and Hassan pushed Trump administration officials to provide necessary support to students and workers impacted by the coronavirus. Both senators supported bipartisan government funding legislation to help states’ response efforts, which was signed into law. The CDC disbursed the $4.9 million funds for New Hampshire included in that funding package earlier this week.